Late McCarthy stunner lifts Pirates

Benni McCarthy came on to score a superb late winner as Orlando Pirates defeated ten-man Maritzburg United 1-0 today and rose two places into third in the South African Premiership.

McCarthy struck on 75 minutes via a spectacular bicycle kick following a free-kick that left goalkeeper Francis Chansa helpless.

Pirates dominated the match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto as Maritzburg United had Peter Petersen sent off 17 minutes into the second half when he handled, earning a second yellow card.

Midtable Maritzburg United thought they had equalised deep into stoppage time when Nigerian Prince Olomu netted from close range after Senegalese Mor Diouf knocked a free-kick into his path, but the effort was ruled offside.

Pirates were the only club among the top eight in the table to win this weekend and trail arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs on goal difference, while both Soweto clubs are three points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns with 12 games left.

Finally, Lowly Platinum Stars ended a nine-match winless run with a surprise 1-0 victory at Bloemfontein Celtic courtesy of a second-half goal from defender Innocent Mkhabela.